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tv   [untitled]    July 25, 2011 2:00pm-2:30pm PDT

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the internet. tonight's program has been part of the commonwealth club's u.s. constitution in the 21st century series, underwritten by the charles guess he family, and we thank them, and we thank you. [applause]
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>> the san francisco cons tri of flowers in golden gate park is now showing a new exhibit that changes the way we see the plants around us. amy stewart's best-selling book, "wicked plants" is the inspiration behind the new exhibit that takes us to the dark side of the plant world. >> i am amy stewart. i am the arthur of "wicked plants," the weeds that killed lincoln's mother and other botanical atrocities. with the screens fly trap, that is kind of where everybody went initially, you mean like that? i kind of thought, well, all it does is eat up bugs.
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that is not very wicked. so what? by wicked, what i mean is that they are poisonous, dangerous, deadly or immoral or maybe illegal or offensive or awful in some way. i am in the profession of going around and interviewing botanists, horticulturalists and plant scientists. they all seem to have some little plant tucked away in the corner of a greenhouse that maybe they weren't supposed to have. i got interested in this idea that maybe there was a dark side to plants. >> the white snake root. people who consumed milk or meat from a cow that fed on white snake root faced severe pain. milk sickness, as it was culled, resulted in vomiting, tremors, delirium and death. one of the most famous victims
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of milk sickness was nancy hangs lincoln. she died at the age of 34, leaving behind 9-year-old abraham lincoln. he helped build his mother's casket by carving the woodallen petition douche the wooden petition himself. >> we transformed the gallery to and eerie victorian garden. my name is lowe hodges, and i am the director of operations and exhibitions at the conls tore of -- cons tore of flowers. we decided it needed context. so we needed a house or a building. the story behind the couple in the window, you can see his wife has just served him a
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glass of wine, and he is slumped over the table as the poison takes affect. a neat little factold dominion about that house is actually built out of three panels from old james bond movie. we wanted people to feel like i am not supposed to be in this room. this is the one that is supposed to be barred off and locked up. >> the ole andersonner -- oleander. this popular shrub is popular in warm climates. it has been implicated in a surprising number of murders and accidental deaths. children are at risk because it takes only a few leaves to kill them. a southern california woman tried to collect on her husband's life insurance by putting the leaves in his food. she is now one of 15 women on california's death rowan the only one who attempted to murder with a plant.
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>> people who may haven't been to their cons tore or been to -- do serve tore or their botanical garden, it gives them a reason to come back. you think let's go and look at the pretty flowers. these are pretty flowers, but they are flowers with weird and fascinating stories behind them. that is really fun and really not what people normally think of when they come to a horticultural institution. >> "wicked plants" is now showing at the san francisco conserve tore of flowers. unless next time, get out and play.
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>> the public wants to access particular information about your house or neighborhood we point them to gis. gis is a combination of maps and data. not a graphic you see on a screen. you get the traffic for the streets the number of crimes for a police district in a period of time. if the idea of combining the different layerce of information and stacking them on top of each other to present to the public. >> other types of gis are web based mapping systems. like google earth, yahoo maps. microsoft. those are examples of on line mapping systems that can be used to find businesses or get driving directions or check on traffic conditions.
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all digital maps. >> gis is used in the city of san francisco to better support what departments do. >> you imagine all the various elements of a city including parcels and the critical infrastructure where the storm drains are. the city access like the traffic lights and fire hydrants. anything you is represent in a geo graphic space with be stored for retrieval and analysis. >> the department of public works they maintain what goes on in the right-of-way, looking to dig up the streets to put in a pipe. with the permit. with mapping you click on the map, click on the street and up will come up the nchgz that will
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help them make a decision. currently available is sf parcel the assessor's application. you can go to the assessor's website and bring up a map of san francisco you can search by address and get information about any place in san francisco. you can search by address and find incidents of crime in san francisco in the last 90 days. we have [inaudible] which allows you to click on a map and get nchldz like your supervisor or who your supervisor is. the nearest public facility. and through the sf applications we support from the mayor's office of neighborhood services. you can drill down in the neighborhood and get where the
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newest hospital or police or fire station. >> we are positive about gis not only people access it in the office but from home because we use the internet. what we used to do was carry the large maps and it took a long time to find the information. >> it saves the city time and money. you are not taking up the time of a particular employee at the assessor's office. you might be doing things more efficient. >> they have it ready to go and say, this is what i want. >> they are finding the same things happening on the phone where people call in and ask, how do i find this information? we say, go to this website and they go and get the information easily. >> a picture tells a thousand
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stories. some say a map
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